DERRY City’s popular captain, Kevin Deery, will have breathed a sigh of relief on Tuesday when learning that the knee injury he had sustained against U.C.D. was not a bad as first thought.
ARTHUR DUFFY reports
The Creggan man, who has experienced long lay-offs in the past due to knee issues, has got off to a superb start to the new campaign having followed a special programme but what appeared to be a minor knock against the students saw his knee swell and that set off alarm bells in the club’s treatement room.
Deery and Brandywell boss, Declan Devine, visited a specialist in Belfast on Tuesday and following a scan and a further consulatation, the player’s mind was put at rest.
“I accompanied Kevin to see the specialist and given that it was a knee problem, we were worried,” said Devine. “Last year Kevin did have significant surgery on his knee, so we had our concerns and opted to get the matter sorted out sooner rather than later.
“Thankfully, having had a scan, the knee specialist has confirmed that Kevin requires a minor procedure and could be out for no more than a week to 10 days,” confirmed Devine.
“The minor procedure is understood to involve an knee injection plus a number of days of total rest. So that’s great news for both Kevin and Derry City and I’m delighted that our worries have been unfounded.”
The player, however, will not be available for this weekend’s fixtures against Shelbourne on Friday night and Bray Wanderers, Easter Monday, both games to be staged at the Brandywell.
“Kevin is a massive player for us as he has shown that since the start of the campaign and I’m sure I speak for everyone when announcing our delight that our initial injury fears are totally unfounded.”
Looking forward to this weekend’s double bill on home soil, Devine was confident.
“It’s always tough having two games within the space of four days, but to be totally honest, my only focus is on the Shelbourne match on Friday night,” insisted Devine.
“Both clubs have a history of great rivalry over the years and I would expect a very close game on Friday night.
“Shelbourne did very well to secure a point against Shamrock Rovers last Sunday and, on another day, could have won that match. They may have quite a few new players coming through, but Alan Mathews has also retained the services of his experienced personnel, so we’ll have to be at ourselves if we are to secure a favourable result.”
For the Derry fixture, centre-back, Graham Gartland and midfielder, Paul Crowley return to action having missed the scoreless result against Rovers but Devine felt the point gained would boost confidence levels at Tolka Park.
“Facing Shamrock Rovers is a tough proposition as they are expected to compete for the title, but Shelbourne certainly put it up to them and while their keeper had to be in good form, they also put pressure on Barry Murphy who had to make a few saves in the Rovers goal.”
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